Sunday, December 30, 2007

Movies again

A selection of movies watched by undersigned since the last time -

* Michael Clayton - I very much like many of George Clooney's films, and oh yes, I admit he is a serious piece of eyecandy (and with a brain!), this one however basically left me with a yawn. And not only because the film would have seriously improved by being about 45 minutes shortened. I know many rave about this movie, at least critics here in Sweden, about it being absolutely brilliant, but I fail to see why. And I have a sneaking suspicion that saying you really like this movie is just a way to say you rise above the ignorant plebs, that is the common rest of us...

Yes, great cast, but the story of corruption, good vs bad a k a the little man against a nasty, unscrupulous multinational corporation has been seen soo many times before. And in a far better suit. So instead of seeing this sleeping pill, watch and get mesmerized and upset by for example The Insider, Syriana or the The Constant Gardener instead. -3/5

* The Man From Elysian Fields - beautifully filmed, lovely actors incl a really great performance by Mick Jagger, about what we do for love, life and yes, writing... It somehow reminds me of the French The Escort, but I'm fairly sure it isn't a remake. -4/5

* The Clearing - with actors such as Helen Mirren, Robert Redford and Willem Dafoe I somehow wanted a bit more than this. It is beautifully made, with a wistful feeling to it, but even if the suspense in this kidnapping drama is held together until nearly the very end the end is still more than an anticlimax one. Unfortunately. -3/5

* Elizabeth I - Helen Mirren again, in a brilliant interpretation of queen Elizabeth I, magnificently supported by especially Jeremy Irons. I was completely spellbound the whole film through. So very interesting, the way they actually managed to capture and keep the interest of this historic drama and making it both vivid and plausible, exquisitely made down into every detail. 5/5

* Rabbit-Proof Fence - a true story about Australia's dark past and the way the country has treated the original inhabitants, the aboriginals. Absolutely heartbreaking. 4/5

* Aberdeen - quite a gloomy, bare movie about a troubled father-daughter relationship which we get to follow on a road trip from Oslo, Norway to Aberdeen, Scotland. The social realism genre which can sometimes be a bit too much, but it works quite well here. +3/5

* Spanglish - this one I simply liked. A lot. The cast. The plot. It isn't a masterpiece of anykind, but just so very likable. And just seeing Adam Sandler actually act in a decent way is quite remarkable. 4/5

* Dogville - I'm no fan of overrated Danish director Lars von Trier in general - except for the TV-series Riget- and it has taken me ages to get down to actually watching Dogville. And admittedly at first I had my finger rather firmly placed on the ff-button on the remote-control. But the story soon grabbed me, it's just so intense, so completely tragic, so horrific, so intrusive. This is a superb drama, and very disturbing. 4/5

* Collateral - another movie I had a firm preconception about. And then it turned out to be one of the best action movies I've seen so far. It isn't very foreseeable, and it has an extra dimension of thinking to it. Wasn't very impressed by the very ending though. -4/5

* Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - Stunningly made, gorgeous and amazing and funny, but the story itself I found to be rather thin. It never touched me. And I had expected so much more of it. +2/5

* Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy - I like Will Ferrell, he's a brilliant comedian. And yes this movie offered its fair share of good laughs, all wrapped up in the fashion of the 70ies, but all and all, not a comedy I'll remember for very long. 3/5

* Closer - nicely done, good actors, somewhat fascinating but since I can't relate to this kind of lifestyle it left me... well, just sad and somewhat slightly disgusted I guess. 3/5

* Kinsey - another movie that was just so much better than I had expected. About the "father of human se*uality" Alfred Kinsey and his groundbreaking research in 1940ies. Truly fascinating, so very well played, a movie that makes you think. A lot. 4/5

* Manchurian candidate - the remake of the movie from 1962. Since it was such a long time since I saw that one I have no idea how well this remake stands up to that one, but it is a very good political thriller. About a deranged, vicious powerhungry bitch of a mother and a high political conspiracy - what's not to like about such a plot teamed up with Denzel Washington? 4/5

* Narc - dark, intense, personal, tragic, brainy thriller 3/5

* La mala educación - I like Pedro Almodovar's movies in general, the blaring Spanish, the affectivity, the humour, the garishness. This one, said to be semi-autobiographical, is far from his best ones - Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, Hable con ella, Volver, Todo sobre mi madre - but still rather moving and worth seeing, 3/5

* Bad Santa - it is kind of liberating to see this kind of anything-but-cuddlesome-PC-Santa, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and the supporting actors are a neat bunch. But still, the multitude of laughs it brings also give a tangy aftertaste. Which, I suppose, might be a good thing... -4/5

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